Iran’s Parliament is currently studying proposals on the construction of 20 new nuclear power plants and rejects American and European concerns Tehran is secretly building a nuclear arsenal, said a parliamentary leader.
National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Chairman Aladdin Borujerdi told an Iranian news agency his committee is looking into proposals that he claims were offered to Iran before Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei took power during the lslamic Revolution in 1979. He said at the time Iran had several agreements with European contractors to build 23 reactors and that those agreements are still in effect.
Borujerdi sidelined American and EU charges that Iran is seeking to obtain fuel to construct nuclear bombs, claiming the irradiated material his country is seeking is needed for 20 new “peaceful” nuclear plants Tehran may construct. Iran has said it needs nuclear fuel for “civilian energy purposes.”
In talks last month with Britain, Germany and France, European leaders told Iranian leaders the country’s plan to obtain nuclear fuel is not economically justifiable and is unnecessary for the current number of nuclear facilities Iran maintains.
Borujerdi said he would agree with the EU assessment if Iran only had one or two reactors, but since he says the country now requires several more plants, nuclear fuel is essential to develop the capacity to make the proposed plants fully functional.
Borjurdi also said Parliament will hold a special session next week in hopes of approving a bill requiring the country to forge ahead with its plans to obtain access to nuclear technology, which he said is Iran’s “inalienable right” according to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran is a signatory of the NPT and has obligated itself to random inspections supervised by the International Atomic Energy Agency. The treaty allows Iran to produce nuclear material as long as it can plausibly claim the production is for “peaceful purposes.”
Experts warn Iran can build the infrastructure needed to construct nuclear weapons while telling inspectors they need material for “energy and nuclear medicine research,” and later kick out the inspectors, renounce the treaty and quickly assemble a nuclear arsenal, as did North Korea, which is now said to have ten nuclear warheads.
The U.S. has been holding talks with Russia, the main provider of Iranian nuclear technology, in hopes of reducing Russian help to Iran, which it accuses of developing a secret nuclear weapons arsenal.
Sources say Russia has embarked on a government-sponsored nuclear and missile technology transfer program that could provide Iran with the ability to produce nuclear bombs in one to three years. They say Russia is contemplating providing Tehran with rods that are able to enrich uranium, a deal that was first reported last September.
Earlier this month, Russia reportedly installed a mobile radar system to protect Iran’s Russian-built Bushehr nuclear reactor, and similar systems allegedly are in the works for other Iranian nuclear facilities, including a facility in central Iran. The portable units are designed to detect low, medium and high altitude incoming missiles, and would complicate any attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.
Sources told WND operators of the Beshehr plant arrived earlier this month at a nuclear training center in Novovoronezh, Russia, where they have been receiving instruction on facility operation.
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